CenturyLink Recognized As Innovator In The Ethernet Market
CenturyLink has been recognized as a top innovator and leader in a new report that looks at the U.S. business carrier Ethernet market. The report “Frost Radar: 2019 Growth, Innovation & Leadership Award, U.S. Business Carrier Ethernet Services Market”, offers an in-depth look at the innovations driving business carrier Ethernet services today. This report takes a deep dive into specific trends, such as software-defined networking, and analyzes CenturyLink vis-à-vis market share, current strengths and future opportunities.
Here’s a closer look at CenturyLink’s ratings and how these insights can help shape your software-defined technology and Ethernet investment strategy.
Trends Shaping the U.S. Business Carrier Ethernet Market
In their analysis, Frost & Sullivan noted a few key trends shaping the business carrier Ethernet market today. They found that the industry exceeded $6.5 billion in revenue in 2018. Current and future trends highlighted in the report include:
The industry has matured, and there is sustainable demand: According to the authors, the business carrier Ethernet market has matured and service providers are seeing some changes, such as pricing shifts. Yet demand remains stable, with the report stating, “Continued market migration from time division multiplexing (TDM) private lines (T1/T3/SONET) to Ethernet for secure, data center connectivity, branch site connectivity, support for converged enterprise applications, and cloud connectivity is sustaining demand for Ethernet services.”
Software-defined networking continues to grow: In addition, demand for software-defined networking solutions as part of Ethernet offerings is on the rise. According to the report, “Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) has gained significant traction in the market for hybrid WAN deployments. SD-WAN directly impacts NSPs’ private WAN service (MPLS and Ethernet) revenues, as enterprises consider low cost, high bandwidth Internet-based services such as Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) and broadband services.”
SDN and NFV technologies increase in enterprise Ethernet segment: Technologies such as SDN and NFV “have made significant inroads into enterprise WAN, with most providers supporting SDN-based bandwidth on-demand capabilities on their Ethernet networks. While NFV-based services are fairly new, virtual network services—virtual firewall, virtual WAN optimization, virtual router—offered with Ethernet, are slowly emerging in the market,” notes Frost & Sullivan.
CenturyLink: Committed to the U.S. Ethernet Carrier Market
In addition to assessing the state of the general market, Frost & Sullivan evaluated key providers based on current market positioning, innovation and growth opportunities. Specifically, Frost & Sullivan recognized CenturyLink as a growth and innovation leader because of the company’s market share, size and geographic reach. As the report notes, “The company’s acquisition of Level 3 resulting in CenturyLink moving up to the #1 ranking based on both revenues and port count for 2018.” Building on that acquisition, the authors note that CenturyLink’s expanded metro and long-haul footprint offers a combined network consisting of 150K+ fiber-connected buildings across 4,400 metro markets and 300+ markets, globally. By offering such a robust network, the company is able to service business clients with a wide national presence and easily offer support for tasks such as opening new locations and/or upscaling operations.
CenturyLink’s established footprint in the market and ongoing commitment help lay the foundation for innovation and long-term success. As the report notes, “The company’s IP and Data Services group, which is a subset of the business segment, offers VPN data networks, Ethernet, IP, Waves and video services. In 2018, total business IP and Data Services revenues were $6.97 billion, representing approximately 40% of total business revenue.” With a significant focus on this market, CenturyLink offers a cutting-edge suite of services that help organizations take their network performance to the next level.
Where CenturyLink Stands in the Market
According to the report, “CenturyLink is positioned in the upper right of the business Ethernet services Radar, with the highest scores on both growth and innovation indexes compared to any other competitor.”
As part of a detailed assessment of all players in the market, Frost & Sullivan concludes, “CenturyLink’s ability to quickly and efficiently integrate assets from its Level 3 acquisition, and its focus on dynamic networking capabilities to address the on-demand bandwidth needs of businesses for cloud and data center networking, has resulted in the company’s market leadership position.”
Key Strengths and Opportunities in U.S. Business Carrier Ethernet
The report highlights several strengths that CenturyLink brings to the market:
The ability to offer flexible port speeds: The report highlights CenturyLink’s ability to support a variety of port speeds, noting “CenturyLink offers a broad range of port speeds on its expansive EVPL (50 speeds) and VPLS (37 speeds) network footprint.” As speed needs change and evolve, a partner that can offer a variety of solutions enables greater agility for growing enterprises.
Scaling bandwidth on demand with predictable pricing: Frost & Sullivan writes, “The company’s Adaptive Network Control functionality allows customers to scale bandwidth up to 300%, on demand, with predictable billing.” By balancing the ability to meet changing needs with predictable costs, enterprise clients can meet evolving technology and networking needs while keeping an eye on their bottom line.
Administrative flexibility with self-service features: The report notes, “With Dynamic Connections, CenturyLink offers self-service functionality to dynamically add/delete, in near real-time, private network connections between enterprise/hosted datacenters, and AWS and Azure clouds.” With tools designed to enable greater flexibility, network administrators have access to the tools they need to support the real-time decisions today’s market demands.
Extending capabilities with ENNIs: As the report spotlights, “CenturyLink currently has over 500 ENNIs, with 70 vendors in North America; and over 700 ENNIs worldwide across 200 partners globally (spanning ILECs, CLECs, MSOs), to extend coverage to offnet customer locations.”
Future innovations: There are several areas that the authors note of highlight for future innovations. One is continued increased speeds in bandwidth delivery. Another is further investment in E-LAN; the report notes, “The newly launched E-LAN services from CenturyLink enable the company to address multisite interconnectivity needs of highly distributed verticals such as education, manufacturing and healthcare.”
A closer look at the key trends across the report reveals several important takeaways. The U.S. Business Carrier Ethernet market has matured, but demand remains consistent as companies continue to seek reliable, affordable ways to scale and connect their technologies. CenturyLink ranks #1 in the market for both port numbers and revenues, building on a foundation of several key strengths and investments in future opportunities, as outlined in the Frost & Sullivan report. By strategically leveraging partnerships with their telecommunications providers, enterprises can ensure they have the bandwidth and connectivity needed to meet changing customer needs.
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